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Patrol Squadron THIRTY [VP-30] Pro's Nest

Patrol Squadron THIRTY (VP-30), the "Pro's Nest," is the U.S. Navy's single-site Maritime Patrol Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS). VP-30's mission is to provide aircraft-specific training for naval aviators, naval flight officers and enlisted aircrewmen prior to reporting to the fleet. Since its establishment in 1960, VP-30 has epitomized professionalism in Naval Aviation.

With the consolidation of VP-30 and VP-31 into a single site FRS in 1993, VP-30 is now the Navy's largest aviation squadron. More than 1,100 staff personnel directly or indirectly train over 700 officer and enlisted personnel annually, utilizing more than 30 P-3 Orion aircraft of various models. Foreign military personnel from Germany, Pakistan, Norway, Netherlands, Japan, Thailand, and the Republic of Korea have received specific aircrew training on P-3 operations and systems. In July 1997, the squadron passed 33 years and 320,000 accident-free flight hours, a naval aviation record.

VP-30 was commissioned in June 1960 at NAS Jacksonville, Florida to train flight crews for P-5 Marlin and P-2 Neptune aircraft. In June 1963, VP-30 Detachment ALFA was formed at Patuxent River, Maryland to begin training in the newly introduced P-3 Orion. Growth of VP-30 Detachment ALFA soon became significant enough that the squadron homeport was changed to NAS Patuxent River in 1966. Flight operations continued at NAS Jacksonville until P-2 aircraft were phased out of service in December 1968.

June 1969 marked the beginning of P-3C training with its computerized data processing equipment. In 1970, VP-30 assumed training for P-3 maintenance personnel with the Fleet Readiness Aviation Maintenance Program (FRAMP). From March-August 1975, VP-30 returned to its present homeport of NAS Jacksonville. In August 1991 the command was designated a Major Shore Command as the Maritime Patrol Community Fleet Replacement Squadron.

Since its establishment in 1960, VP-30 has epitomized professionalism in Naval Aviation. This has been the command's trademark which is largely due to a rigorous process used to screen ground and flight instructors who come to the "Pro's Nest" with vast fleet operational experience and undergo an extensive Instructor Under Training (IUT) syllabus prior to being assigned as instructors. VP-30 ensures the fleet receives safe and competent replacement pilots, Naval Flight Officers, Aircrewmen and maintenance technicians who are ready to do the job upon reporting to fleet squadrons.

VP-30 is the Navy's largest aviation squadron and the only site conducting Maritime Patrol Fleet Replacement Training. Currently 12 VP fleet squadrons are homeported in Brunswick, ME; Jacksonville, FL; Barbers Point, HI; and Whidbey Island, WA, all of which are now supported by the dedicated men and women of the "Pro's Nest".

VP-30's awards include three Navy Meritorious Unit Commendations for Norwegian Navy P-3B training and P-3C introduction, P-3C Update II training of the Japanese and Royal Netherlands Navies, and for the consolidation of all P-3 training into a single-site FRS, the United States Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation with Operational Distinguishing Device for Participation in the 1985-1986 Winter Law Enforcement Operations, the 1971, 1983, 1991, 1992 and 1995 CNO Safety Award, and the 1995 CINCLANTFLT Golden Anchor Award for retention.

In June 1998, the squadron surpassed 34 years and 338,000 accident free flight hours, a naval aviation record.

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